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NORTHEAST-MIDWEST WEEKLY UPDATE -- 16 MARCH 1998




RESTRUCTURE FEDERAL UTILITIES
-----------------------------
     With support from environmental and taxpayer groups, Reps. Bob
Franks (R-NJ) and Marty Meehan (D-MA) on Thursday, March 19, will
introduce legislation to curtail taxpayer subsidies to federal
utilities.  The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition's bill
orders Power Marketing Administrations and the Tennessee Valley
Authority to charge market-based rates (rather than subsidized rates)
for their power.

     "America's taxpayers can no longer afford to underwrite the
utility bills for the few select customers of federal utilities,"
declared Rep. Meehan.  "As lawmakers bring competition to the utility
industry, we must ensure that government subsidies to PMAs and TVA do
not distort a fair and open marketplace," stated Rep. Franks.

     The Power Marketing Administration Reform Act of 1997,
demonstrating the growing support for reform, is endorsed by a diverse
coalition, including the Environmental Defense Fund, High Country
Citizens Alliance, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Friends of the
Earth.

     The legislation would have PMA and TVA power "sold at prices set
by demand and supply within the relevant bulk power supply market." 
As an interim measure, it would empower the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission to ensure that all PMA and TVA rates are recalculated to
assure "full-cost recovery."

     CONTACT: Dick Munson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).


APPROPRIATORS TO GRILL POWER MARKETING ADMINISTRATIONS
------------------------------------------------------
     The House Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Subcommittee on Thursday, March 19, will question directors of the
four Power Marketing Administrations about their taxpayer subsidies
and questionable business practices.  The panel, chaired by Rep.
Joseph McDade (R-PA), last year held a similar hearing on the
Tennessee Valley Authority which led to the elimination of all
appropriations for TVA.

     Northeast-Midwest members on the panel include Reps. Rodney
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI), and Peter Visclosky
(D-IN).  The March 19 hearing will begin at 10:00 am in room 2362B of
the Rayburn House Office Building.


HIGH-SPEED RAIL FUNDS QUADRUPLED
--------------------------------
     Hailing high-speed rail as "the future of passenger rail in
America" and holding "great promise for our country," Sen. Carol
Moseley-Braun (D-IL) pushed through legislation on the Senate floor
increasing funding for high-speed rail development from $30 million to
$120 million over the next six years.

     On Thursday, March 12, 1998, the Senate adopted the Intermodal
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1997, a $214 billion highway
and mass transit bill that boosts federal transportation by 38 percent
for the next six years.  As introduced, the bill included an
authorization of $5 million per year over six years for high-speed
rail grade crossing improvements.  These funds, however, were to be
distributed to the five existing high-speed rail corridors, including
one linking Chicago to Detroit, St. Louis and Milwaukee, plus three
new corridors chosen by the Secretary of Transportation.

     Sen. Moseley-Braun's amendment, the final one adopted on the
Senate floor before passage of the omnibus transportation bill,
quadruples funding to these corridors to $20 million per year.  The
House of Representatives is expected to consider companion
transportation legislation during the next month or two.

     CONTACT: David Richardson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(544-5200).


     FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION -- FORMULA FUNDING BY STATE
      COMPARISON OF ISTEA V. ISTEA II AS ADOPTED BY THE SENATE
                            (in dollars)
---------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Current                    Senate               
                            ISTEA   Percent        ISTEA II   Percent
                           Fiscal   of U.S.          Fiscal   of U.S.
State or Region         1992-1997     Total       1998-2003     Total
---------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. Total         23,311,149,000            26,596,541,636               

New England         1,520,282,000      6.52   1,797,711,720      6.76
  Connecticut         397,440,000      1.69     501,390,571      1.86
  Maine                60,133,000      0.26      33,358,580      0.12
  Massachusetts       946,139,000      4.03   1,128,911,307      4.19
  New Hampshire        23,015,000      0.10      36,198,151      0.13
  Rhode Island         63,911,000      0.27      82,940,858      0.31
  Vermont              29,644,000      0.13      14,912,253      0.06

Mid-Atlantic        8,298,841,000     35.60   9,392,295,752     35.31
  Delaware             43,287,000      0.18      48,997,142      0.18
  Maryland            706,381,000      3.01     662,692,209      2.46
  New Jersey        1,718,042,000      7.31   1,620,686,615      6.02
  New York          4,347,945,000     18.50   5,399,568,518     20.05
  Pennsylvania      1,483,186,000      6.31   1,660,351,268      6.17

Midwest             3,384,665,000     14.52   4,207,809,076     15.82
  Illinois          1,606,741,000      6.84   2,124,589,567      7.89
  Indiana             225,305,000      0.96     268,615,506      1.00
  Iowa                122,075,000      0.52      92,182,011      0.34
  Michigan            395,203,000      1.68     457,740,988      1.70
  Minnesota           179,321,000      0.76     261,019,867      0.97
  Ohio                622,213,000      2.65     730,315,208      2.71
  Wisconsin           233,807,000      0.99     273,345,929      1.02

South               4,088,060,000     17.54   4,953,588,005     18.62
  Alabama              96,138,000      0.41     131,315,488      0.49
  Arkansas             53,949,000      0.23      66,694,027      0.25
  Dist of Columb      215,428,000      0.92     410,311,404      1.52
  Florida             827,392,000      3.52   1,074,722,555      3.99
  Georgia             477,330,000      2.03     505,720,973      1.88
  Kentucky            102,148,000      0.43     154,384,399      0.57
  Louisiana           226,595,000      0.96     234,751,361      0.87
  Mississippi          49,677,000      0.21      68,745,318      0.26
  North Carolina      199,292,000      0.85     247,598,624      0.92
  Oklahoma             74,185,000      0.32     107,001,749      0.40
  South Carolina       78,014,000      0.33     113,669,717      0.42
  Tennessee           183,048,000      0.78     197,597,922      0.73
  Texas             1,166,824,000      4.97   1,145,653,704      4.25
  Virginia            284,366,000      1.21     441,690,493      1.64
  West Virginia        53,674,000      0.23      53,730,271      0.20

West                6,019,301,000     25.82   6,245,137,083     23.48
  Alaska               23,436,000      0.10      22,311,055      0.08
  Arizona             176,102,000      0.75     250,567,772      0.93
  California        3,470,258,000     14.77   3,791,723,376     14.08
  Colorado            167,951,000      0.71     266,419,206      0.99
  Hawaii              134,536,000      0.57     160,552,648      0.60
  Idaho                21,063,000      0.09      34,308,946      0.13
  Kansas               65,270,000      0.28      81,344,215      0.30
  Missouri            388,683,000      1.65     285,172,564      1.06
  Montana              16,920,000      0.07      27,012,523      0.10
  Nebraska             48,992,000      0.21      71,272,887      0.26
  Nevada               89,331,000      0.38     124,633,483      0.46
  New Mexico           47,977,000      0.20      62,077,736      0.23
  North Dakota         16,793,000      0.07      23,695,478      0.09
  Oregon              725,516,000      3.09     214,012,215      0.79
  South Dakota         17,222,000      0.07      21,441,284      0.08
  Utah                174,495,000      0.74     137,496,367      0.51
  Washington          423,429,000      1.80     656,747,685      2.44
  Wyoming              11,327,000      0.05      14,347,643      0.05

SOURCE:  Northeast-Midwest staff calculations from Federal Transit
         Administration data.  To allow state-by-state comparisons,
         funds for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are not
         included.  Other proposed transit funding, not broken out by
         state, includes new starts, bus discretionary, and planning
         programs.  Total proposed mass transit funding is $41.3
         billion over six years, up 31 percent from the 1991 ISTEA
         authorization.


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